Poll Result & Comments on Market Site Meeting
In last week's Henley NEWS On-line electronic poll, 71 readers supported holding a town meeting to hear from the elected representatives and officials the latest proposals for the redevelopment of the Market site. It had been previously reported that the District Council and South Warwickshire Housing had held a private meeting to discuss the project on Friday 3rd August.
|In Support of a meeting|
|Against holding a meeting |
Below are some of the comments received from residents, starting with the only person who voted against holding a meeting.
Although I understand the concerns of some residents, I totally support the plans to provide additional housing in Henley and am bemused by the `over the top` reaction of `certain` residents who will live adjacent to the new houses.
I support having a town meeting because we need to know what is going on regarding the development. Please could you keep me informed.
I think a Town Meeting is essential! Otherwise, how are the views of Henley residents going to be aired?
I would welcome a town meeting on the subject of Henley market site.
Both my wife and I support a town meeting and consider that this is the least that we are entitled to as tax payers. Remember the slogan that started the American Civil War: No taxation without representation. - Give the electorate of Henley a chance.
Yes, we certainly DO support a Town Meeting since we are obviously affected by this re-development plan.
Yes I am in complete support of a town meeting, as at the moment there are so many Chinese whispers, the record needs to be set straight. Fingers are being pointed at one particular parish councillor, who apparently instigated the moratorium for Stratford, these rumours have either got to be verified or cancelled.
Whilst writing I would also like to point out that I know of one house sale that has fallen through because of this proposed development the buyer has decided to look outside of Henley. I have heard Henley being described as ‘Chelmsley Wood South in the making’. My neighbours are looking to move out of Henley, my neighbours at the back of my property are already house-hunting elsewhere, a couple who have rented opposite me for six months to find a property are also looking to live elsewhere all as a result of this totally inappropriate development, which is contrary to the District Plan
The whole of Henley will be adversely affected not just Prince Harry Road, we all need to communicate so that we all know the plans and intentions of both the parish councillors and the builders and we will then be in a position to discuss realities, not innuendoes.
Then and only then can we stop the exodus which is already starting. I would also mention that I have heard people suggesting that if the parish council is not forthcoming with information and backing then it is time to start proceedings to disband the council. Only ten signatures are required to instigate this and currently this would seem to be very appropriate and positive method of improving the environment in Henley whilst at the same time removing at least one level of needless bureaucracy and self-interest.
I feel this could get completely out of hand so let’s have this meeting and see if we can’t all come up with a satisfactory conclusion.
Yes, I support a town meeting, and find it totally disgraceful that to date there has been no such suggestion from the Parish Council themselves. I believed the beauty of living in a small town like Henley, was that the people chosen to hold responsible roles - for and on behalf of the residents - would be willing to fight against what is broadly perceived as a negative change to this beautiful town. I understand that it may be the case that the Parish Council cannot condemn this proposal until it reaches official status, but if they are unwilling to hold a town meeting in which they can reassure us that they will challenge any inappropriate Housing Association plans, then I have to wonder whose “side” they are on. I appreciate that they make regular decisions to ensure the aesthetic nature of Henley, such as in replacing fences and bins, but it would appear that when it comes to playing “hard-ball” they have no authority at all, or just a reticence to use it??
As for the district Councillors, where are they now? I can do nothing but laugh to consider the verbal diarrhoea of assurances about “protecting Henley and its history” on my doorstep only a few months ago. This of course was when they were after our votes. Needless to say I look forward to the next time they come knocking – I believe my grandma used to call it “giving them short shrift!”
I have moved into Henley from a large Suburb in the South East, and still every day after nearly four years, I thank God for my luck, and reflect upon how privileged each and every one of us is to live here. I have no objection to small homes being built, with a realistic price tag, to allow the people of Henley the opportunity to stay in their home town. Furthermore, I like many others, would find it acceptable to have shared ownership homes built, again to assist the people of Henley. This however will simply not be the case, and as is stated on the Warwickshire Housing Association website, properties are allocated to the top of the housing list applicants. I wonder how many Henley-ites are on that then??
Thank you Henley News for being there to question so publicly on our behalf all those who are letting us down.
I think a Town Meeting should be called at once.
An Environmental Impact Report needs to be carried out before any further building in Henley is permitted.
I definitely support a Town Meeting. I am disgusted at the lack of consideration for people of Henley & what seems to be, the complete indifference to the Trader's situation, after so many years of trading here.
Since I came to live here, about 28 years ago, there seems to have been a continual building programme going on, in different parts of the town. Some of them claiming that they would be building some "affordable" housing, to help the residents who needed homes, to be able to buy. Show me some! Enough is enough. Henley is a market town. Let us keep it that way.
I strongly support a town meeting. This is our town, we have to live here and therefore have a right to know what is going on in our name; at least to be consulted about the density, the design and the effect any development will have on our amenities. The recent plight of residents after the floods should make planners reconsider their options and the first is to tell developers what they can and cannot do in someone else's town!
No closed doors - A Town Meeting please.
Response by the Clerk to the Joint Parish Council
Thank you for your e-mail which I am responding to on behalf of the Joint Parish Council. I am afraid the Joint Parish Council cannot give a response for next week's Henley News On-Line for the following reason.
Members of the Joint Parish Council are bound by a strict Code of Conduct for Parish and Town Councils, as produced by the Standards Board for England. The Code does not enable Councillors to comment on any plans that have not come before the Council, as any discussions or involvement could be construed as prejudicial. For this reason Councillors have not been consulted on any plans and therefore not commented on them. The Joint Parish Council has not received any plans from the District Council, but when they are received they will be put before a meeting for which due notice will be given, so that Members can respond.
Agendas for each Joint Parish Council meeting are displayed on the Council's notice boards by the police station, in Beaudesert Lane, and Arden Road as well as in the window of 76 High Street. They are also placed on the Joint Parish Council's web-site at: www.Henley-in-Arden.co.uk and are available from the library (under normal circumstances). Prior to the start of Parish Council meetings there is an "Open Forum" where members of the public can make representations.
I hope the above helps to clarify the Joint Parish Council's position.
Councillor Laurence Marshall Comments
“I have no comments to add to those already given in the previous edition of Henley News On-line dated 19th July.
To get drawn into commenting on statements that are partially incorrect, substantially incorrect and in some instances a complete and utter load of rubbish, could jeopardise my effectiveness in representing the residents of Henley in Arden at the appropriate time.
This is a discipline that all Parish, District & County representatives have to apply no matter how frustrating it might appear. It is essential that your representatives maintain their self control and do not fetter their discretion, rendering their comments invalid when proposals are ultimately put before them.”
Grumpy Old Man Comments
Town meeting, or town cover up ?
Following last weeks comment regarding the market development, again our 3 councilors and JPC are silent! But why? According to what I’m told, they are not allowed to comment as they are bound by a strict code of conduct.
Begs the question, why? What is the purpose of County, District and Parish councils if they cannot comment to the very people who have put them into their position, until after plans are submitted. When is the timing right for comments to be voiced? Sounds like red tape and twaddle to me. Everyone has an opinion based on what information is given (not much up to now) and from then on it’s Chinese Whispers. So come on planners and Housing Associations, let us know what is happening. Stop the gossip and let us know. But when plans are available, who will make the right decision for us ? Will we, the general public get a say ?
Reading what people have written, most are not opposed to affordable housing but what is clear is : the majority want to know what is happening. So what is the risk? Unless of course someone has something to hide.
Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine, if bricks are being laid in Jan 2008, plans must be drawn up now. Some one, somewhere, must know what the plans are. But all we do know is, no one is letting on what they are.
Grumpy Old Man
Rotarians Enjoy the Delights of Steam
There can rarely have been such a hubbub on the platform of Henley Station as there was around eleven o'clock on Sunday morning. Foregathered were passengers for the steam-hauled "Shakespeare Express" including the 64 Henley Rotarians and their friends who occupied an entire coach. There were those unmistakable nostalgic sounds of steam power as the train pulled away to Stratford where there was a pause whilst the engine was transferred to the head of the train.
At the same time, almost miraculously, tables were laid ready for the delicious picnic-box lunches prepared by Henley's own Sue Dalby. Corks were popped, the volume of chatter increased and stations such as Bearley and Claverdon slid by. At Hatton, the Express joined the main line through Solihull to Birminghan Snow Hill. Now it was back through leafy Warwickshire down the familiar line through Earlswood to Henley where the well-satisfied and delighted party alighted after a memorable outing.
At the Rotary meeting on Monday, President David Snell expressed the thanks of everyone who had been on board to Bill Leech, Tony Capps, Roger Sutton and John Lock for the meticulous planning that had resulted in such an enjoyable occasion.
Mike Redman Reporting
Photos John Love & Tony Capps
Council gives £½m to flood affected households
Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s Executive yesterday, Tuesday 21 August, agreed to pay all householders affected by the recent floods £250 grant.
“We want to give something to everyone whose home was flooded and reduce the burden on the rest of the council tax payers,” says Councillor Les Topham, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council. We know this is a dreadful time for individuals who are still clearing up after the recent floods and we will be looking at it in detail and working with and influencing partners to minimise the chance of this happening in the future.”
Further surveys are currently being carried out by Council staff to identify the extent of flooding experienced and help provide information on how best to target further support.
Questionnaires are being distributed to those affected and are available at council offices, or by phoning the floodline number on, 01789 260380. These forms should be returned Freepost to Stratford-on-Avon District Council by 21 September.
John Earle Sponsors Junior Tennis at Ullenhall Club
Take a close look at the picture right, for there may well be a tennis pro or two in the making! For a good number of years John Earle & Son have been very happy to sponsor the junior summer tennis coaching at Ullenhall Tennis Club. With Peter Cornford, partner of John Earle & Son being a member of the Club himself, he and Richard Abbey, the other partner of John Earle & Son have an avid interest in the coaching and development of junior tennis players in the area. Great credit must also go to Stuart Wilson, Ullenhall Tennis Club committee member for co-ordinating the coaching for the past 2/3 years. He has played a huge role in making the summer tennis club a success and he reports that turnout this year has in fact been the best of all the years yet!
Ralf Nielsen, pictured in the photo with the children above has been teaching the youngsters over he past few years. He is a qualified LTA coach and has many years experience under his belt, teaching children of all ages as well as adults. So we at John Earle & Son have great expectations for our Ullenhall junior tennis team, with such fantastic local support, there is sure to be a future Wimbledon star getting ready to shine from Ullenhall Tennis Club!
Becky Burman reporting
Shall I go for the Grumpy Old Woman slot I ask myself, or tell it as it is because this is what we do? I've chosen the latter.
www.habitatsurvival.org.uk came to fruition in 2003 and since then the trustees have visited local primary schools to speak with 8-12 year olds on all aspects of natural habitat which, we tell them, is having a hard time to survive all over the world today because humans, like animals, need somewhere to live. It's all about sharing, we say...............and there's the rub because 'things' which we make to sell to each other will inevitably end up in bins and then in landfill which was once pristine habitat, not a dump for 'bigger, better and different' acquisitions advertised on shiny new paper that was once a living tree. It's about going with, rather than against nature. 'Don't be too tidy we tell them, because a bit of wilderness in a garden goes a long way towards encouraging little and sometimes bigger beasties to move in.
How does one explain to impressionable youngsters that WE are the biggest growing threat on the planet today, to ourselves, to wildlife and to life as it should be lived and that if we continue to multiply at the present alarming rate, they, their children and their children's children will reap the whirlwind. (If you dare, go to Google, put in The Big Problem and Search)
I listen and watch the daily news with a sinking heart; the relentless march of corporate greed; gentle gorillas shot in Rwanda, magnificent tigers poached in India where raging floods have desolated local populations, children in Africa dying from starvation, Orangutans falling to their deaths from trees felled beneath them, ice breaking away from glaciers leaving polar bears with no-where else to go, 100,000 Albatross dying needlessly each year on long-line fishing hooks and here at home, fresh water fish poached near to extinction by mounting new immigration.
If anyone out there would like to join us, we should welcome your company!
Molly Corfield Tel: 01564 794651
Verdict on travel firm directors
Three directors of a Lowestoft-based travel firm, accused of selling holidays that never materialised, have been cleared of conspiracy to defraud. Kevin Tull, 29, of Walmer Road, Lowestoft, his brother Mark Tull, 28, of Henley-in-Arden, West Midlands, and Matthew Rigden, of Windsor Road, Lowestoft, were yesterday found not guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court following a three-week trial. They had been directors of Fly By Travel Promotions Limited and each was facing one charge of conspiracy to defraud between January 2003 and July 2005.
The trial heard the firm had invited customers to sign up to a platinum option for a subscription fee of £39.99, which entitled them to a seven-day holiday, including flights and four-star accommodation, in Spain, the Balearics or the Canaries. The prosecution claimed that out of 1,120 holidaymakers, only 23 received their holidays and the others were left out of pocket by £140,000. Lawyers acting for the defendants told the court the business was not a dishonest enterprise, but had been bogged down by a "large degree of incompetence".
During the trial, Kevin Tull told the jury he had been determined to make a success of the business and wanted to "get as many people away on holidays as possible". He also insisted her never lied to customers. The court was also told that the firm ran into trouble when it was unable to book cheap tickets with airlines because it was not bonded. The majority of Fly By's customers were from the West Midlands, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.
After the jury returned its verdict, Judge Neil McKittrick praised the efforts for the Suffolk Trading Standards Department, which investigated the case. He said: "I would like to commend the preparation of the case in terms of the work done by many people in trading standards, who have produced a case which I'm told involved about 12,000 pages of work. It has been a detailed investigation and a carefully prepared case."
Rotary International Exchange
What is Rotary?
Rotary is an international association of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, promote high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. With over 1.2 million members in over 32,000 clubs in nearly 170 countries, Rotary initiates community projects that focus on the most serious issues confronting people around the world: poverty, conflict resolution, health, hunger, illiteracy and the eradication of polio.
Group Study Exchange.
Are you between 25 and 40yrs. of age?
Fully employed with at least 2 years of work in your chosen field.
In the early stages of your career or profession
Are you personable, articulate, cooperative, a motivated team member and enthusiastic about your vocation.
What is Group Study Exchange (GSE)?
The GSE program of The Rotary International is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women. The program provides travel grants for teams of participants to exchange visits between paid areas in different countries. In this case District 4100 in the north west of Mexico visiting in February/March 2008.
Structure of the Program
Teams of 4 non- Rotarians + 1 Rtn. Team Leader. Visit spans 4 weeks.
During the exchange the Team will visit local businesses, government offices and community organisations. Tour historical and cultural sites and stay with Rotarian host families. Make presentations about their home Country and professions. There would be some pre visit orientation.
Cost – only personal and incidental expenses incurred before, during and after the visit.
See Rotary 1060 website at www.rotarydistrict1060.org or www.rotary.org referring to the GSE part of the Foundation Section for further information.
Contact: Rotarian David J Brain e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manor of Henley-in-Arden
Court Leet and Court Baron
Published by Authority of the High Bailiff
To view the Court Leet website, go to www.henley-in-arden.org/court-leet
At the Joint Parish Council Meeting on Monday 20th August 2007 Members discussed three planning applications received. The only other item on the agenda concerned a response to a Draft Supplementary Planning Document on Achieving Sustainable Low Carbon Buildings. The text of the response in the form of a report is as follows:
Comments on Achieving Sustainable Low-Carbon Buildings
Draft Supplementary Planning Document – July 2007
The aim of this report is to define what needs to be done to achieve low carbon emissions from buildings. As such it is an important aim in the overall strategy for controlling climate change and should be supported. The comments below are not criticisms but a constructive contribution from JPC to improve the arguments put forward.
Question 1: Do you think it is appropriate and realistic to require these
measures within the scope of this SPD? Are there other requirements
which should be covered by the SPD?
However, the items below may be useful for consideration:
1. To avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings provide clear definitions i.e.
What is passive solar heating?
What is a sustainable drainage systems?
By maximising the potential for natural daylight do we mean more and larger windows etc.
Having defined the terms used, the policy should focus explicitly on how is this to be achieved by itemising the requirements and methodology e.g. how one could have renewable energy on site?
One should avoid Rules which can easily lead to exceptions i.e. specific rules apply to developments with floor area of over 1000m2. What happens if the developer divides the project into two 500m2?
It is also important to explain what the implications are in relation to listed buildings, conservation areas and the green belt.
Question 2: Taking the above into account, what do you consider is the
appropriate threshold above which renewable energy provision should be required and why?
• 100m2/ single dwellings
• 300m2/ schemes of 3 dwellings
• 1000m2/ schemes of 10 dwellings
This question is purely theoretical and not very practical.
First, at present renewable energy can only meet a fraction of the demand for electricity.
Second, the question implies that one could ask the energy suppliers to provide say electricity which can be generated from different fuels. Even if we assume that this can be achieved at present which we cannot, it would be impossible to monitor and control. The voltage transmitted on the lines cannot be categorised into different groups i.e. this voltage was generated from a coal fire station and the other was generated from a renewable energy source. One should add here that electricity generated from nuclear power gives no carbon omissions
If this question was to be achievable then 100m2/single dwellings would be the preferred option because it provides the overall lowest carbon emission option.
Question 3: Do you agree that a figure of 10% should be set initially in
this SPD, with the figure reviewed when the policy is incorporated into
the Core Strategy? Or do you consider there is a justification for setting a higher percentage now?
In our view the aim for all new developments should be set at 20%.
Grants should be provided for existing buildings to reduce their energy requirements e.g. installation of solar panels, improved insulation, use of low energy bulbs etc.
General comments on other parts of the report
If proposals exceed current best practice there should be guidelines and examples on how the new requirements could be achieved rather than providing targets without explanation.
The procedures to follow are too bureaucratic and complicated. The focus should be on simplicity.
There is no discussion or consideration on:
The financial perspective i.e. how will the additional costs be met? What help will the Government and Local Authorities give if any?
The Customer perspective i.e. how will the non expert public deal with all these new proposals.
The internal Processes perspective i.e. how will the SDC manage and implement the new proposals
In the case of sustainable urban drainage systems (suds), water conservation and the disposal of surface water how is this different from the existing arrangements? We are not sure how the surface water and domestic water is to be recycled and by whom?
We agree with the design principles proposed and in our view these should be implemented from now on all new developments and for existing building alterations.
SDC should be more proactive in addressing the development of a communal combine heat and power plan (CHP) for the whole District. This project could be undertaken in association with an Electricity Generator.
Comments on Extending your home
Draft Planning Advice Note
This document could not be located on your web-site.”
The next meeting of the Joint Parish Council is scheduled for Monday 3rd September 2007. Meetings take place in the Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Henley-in-Arden from 7.15pm and, as with all meetings of the Council, members of the public are welcome to attend.
Cycle Routes Request
Just a quick email to say thanks for a wonderful news letter it was forwarded to me my mother in law and I enjoy reading it. I was wondering if there are any published cycle routes around Henley and the surrounding area. I am a keen cyclist and as yet have only found routes along the Stratford road which is generally quite busy.
Thanks for your help in this matter.
Replies via email@example.com
Lapworth WI Scarecrow Festival
On 8th & 9th September 2007 (2 till 5pm each day) Lapworth Village is organising this event for the 3rd year. Visitors are requested to come to the Village Hall, Lapworth to collect their route for £2.50 and then drive around the local area to vote on which Scarecrow they judge to be the best, to cast their vote at the Village Hall where cream teas and refreshments will be served. There will also be a raffle , and other stalls to raise funds for local amenities.
We have been delighted with the response in previous years, and would welcome Henley residents to come along and join a real family occasion.
Any queries please contact Gillian Jackson........01564 78 3028.
£1,000 Fine for Jackson
Henley in Arden’s Mat Jackson says the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at Brands Hatch on Sunday ˆ in which he regained the lead of the Independents drivers championship ˆ turned into the “most dramatic” of his career so far.
Mat finished race two in fourth and race three in third but instead of celebrating on the podium was on his way to hospital after struggling to carry on in a car that was filling up with exhaust fumes. But the result was enough to move him back to the top of the independents standings. It was a bizarre ending to a day which started badly when Mat was caught up in an 11-car pile-up in race one which left the Jacksons MSport team in a race against time to repair their damaged BMW 320si to make race two’s grid.
The accident, on a wet track, happened after Mat had spun at the first bend and officials later fined him £1,000 and put three points on his competition licence. He was also given a six-place grid penalty for the start of race three.
“First of all, I want to send my best wishes to Matt Neal and Dave Pinkney who came off worst in the accident in race one. All I know is I didn’t take anyone off. It’s just very unfortunate that the spin then caused the concertina problems behind, but it’s the sort of thing that can and does happen in motorsport. On another day, everyone would have missed each other. I really do feel for the guys with damaged cars, I know how hard it is to get out racing and would not wish any damage on anyone.
“Secondly, my car was among those badly damaged and my team would not have managed to repair it in the 90 minutes or so in time for us to start race two if it was not for the help of Team Air Cool, Motorbase, A-Tech and others. The support was fantastic and it was nothing short of a miracle to get the car running again. It was a patch-up job, the car wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was good enough to get us up from the back of the grid to fourth. Again, I can’t thank everyone enough.”
It was in race three that Mat’s true grit came through. That accident in race one had caused substantial damage to the rear of Mat’s #48 BMW and this would have a knock-on effect as fumes began seeping from the exhaust system into the cockpit from the start of the 27 lap race.
“I’d noticed it in race two, but we thought we’d got it fixed for race three. Obviously not as it started again pretty much from the word go. I felt reasonably OK, but then with about 5 laps to go really started to feel it. It was a shame as I’d been in second and pushing Colin Turkington for the win in a car that was still less than perfect but suddenly I started to feel quite drowsy and ran wide at one of the corners and lost the place to Gordon Shedden. I just hung on to the end. When I got out of the car I saw my brother Dan (team manager)∑ only there were two of him!
“The TOCA medical team were brilliant and I’d like to thank them and the staff at the nearby hospital for looking after me so well. Besides, it meant my father Tony (team principal) was able to take my place on the podium which I don’t think he minded too much! I’d also like to thank everyone for the many messages of support we’ve had after what were the most dramatic races I’ve known. Now it’s back into the workshop ˆ we’ve realistically only got about a week to straighten out the car before it goes back in the transporter for the next meeting.”
In spite of his race one retirement, Mat’s results in races two and three have moved him back to the top of the independent standings and have also helped him consolidate his strong sixth place overall in the BTCC. In the overall championship Jacksons MSport is the highest-placed single-car team in fifth. Mat and the team are next in BTCC action at the Knockhill circuit in Fife, Scotland on Sunday September 2nd.
Points after Brands HatchbTCC Drivers: 1st Jason Plato 239; 2nd Fabrizio Giovanardi 235; 3rd Gordon Shedden 161; 4th Matt Neal 154; 5th Colin Turkington 141; 6th Mat Jackson 129 etc.
Independent Drivers: 1st Mat Jackson 217; 2nd Mike Jordan 215; 3rd Colin Turkington 205 etc.
BTCC Teams: 1st SEAT Sport UK 342; 2nd VX Racing 335; 3rd Team Halfords 300; 4th Team RAC 230; 5th Jacksons MSport 127 etc.
Independents Teams: 1st Team RAC 293; 2nd Team Eurotech 222; 3rd Jacksons MSport 221 etc.
To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004 Click Here
SITE NOW CONTAINS EMERGENCY PLANNING INFORMATION
Rotary Club - Shakespeare Express Excursion
Additional Excursion on 2nd September - BOOK NOW
Vintage Trains have rostered ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ to operate the final ‘Shakespeare Express’ trains of the 2007 season on 2nd September. The Rotary Club is organising a special excursion on this day. This service will depart from Stratford, returning to either Henley or Stratford. The excursion will depart from Stratford to Birmingham, via Claverdon and Hatton, returning to either Henley or Stratford.
Sue Dalby Catering is offering passengers High Quality Lunch Boxes for both excursions. Orders for lunch boxes should be made direct with Sue Dalby Catering 01564 793746, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use the form below to reserve your seats for the 2nd September. © Photo right by Clive Hanley
The High Bailiff, after travelling on the first train, said "If readers have not yet booked to do this trip, they should do so quickly: it is definitely not to be missed."
Download a booking form for the Shakespeare Express
The Nigel Hastilow Column
Got any washin' for us, guv'nr?
As factory sites across the West Midlands are turned into housing estates, the question has to be asked: How long can we survive if all we do is take in each other’s washing? The slow decline of manufacturing industry looks like it’s leaving the Black Country and the rest of the region without the ability to create new wealth. If manufacturing is in decline, where will new jobs come from? Can we really afford to buy all those new homes, pay our taxes, feed ourselves and go shopping if nobody makes anything any more?
“Service industries” – banking, law, insurance, call centres and so on – are all very well. But they rely on someone, somewhere, making the money to pay for what they have to offer. Otherwise we’re only “taking in each other’s washing” and still hoping to make a profit. Yet almost every day, it seems, there are more job losses in West Midlands manufacturing and our jobs go abroad.
This week, ironically, it’s a washing-machine manufacturer, Indesit, which is exporting jobs from Blythe Bridge in Staffordshire to Poland and Italy, with the loss of 619 jobs.The manufacturing heartland of Britain is being eroded. Companies are enticed abroad by cheap labour, lower costs, less regulation and more competitive tax systems. A decade of Gordon Brown’s policies has made things worse but the decline has gone on longer than that.
There are fewer people working in manufacturing in the West Midlands today than at any time since the start of the industrial revolution. The wealth created by the 380,000 people still left in manufacturing keeps no fewer than 800,000 public sector employees and 440,000 service industry staff in jobs. In the last five years, the region lost 109,000 jobs in manufacturing. Another 47,000 are expected to disappear in the next ten years, according to Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency. Mind you, when you look at the way the numbers have plummeted, you have to wonder if 47,000 isn’t an under-estimate.
It’s not as if manufacturing doesn’t matter. It’s still the most successful way of creating wealth for the region. The jobs that do still exist bring in an annual turnover of £45 billion. And a job in manufacturing pays on average 20 per cent more than any other work, though of course that’s part of the trouble because high wages in this country contrast with poverty pay at factories abroad.
How, though, can a metal-basher in Dudley compete with a factory in Bombay? India, like China, is fast becoming one of the world’s industrial powerhouses. Manufacturing industry in India enjoyed 13 per cent growth in 2006. When did British manufacturing last register anything remotely like that? India can succeed because the standard of living is low, pay is poor to poverty-level, and regulations imposed on businesses are minimal. It’s as cheap as chips to make things in India or China whereas it’s expensive to do so here.
Does that mean we are doomed to a future where the British economy falters and fails while the “Third World” enjoys the benefits of a 21st century industrial revolution? Not necessarily. Luckily we still have expertise, experience and capabilities which are worth paying for. A senior industrialist I met the other day was explaining that seriously technical production processes were still best done over here. It’s also true that just because jobs are lost in manufacturing doesn’t mean we automatically lose the benefit of making things. It simply requires fewer people to put together a car these days than it once did.
I remember visiting the factory in Bilston where my father worked in the early 1970. It was a terrifying place. It was a burning fiery furnace full of fierce-looking Sikhs sweating away over extruded metal and boiling vats of what looked like molten lava but was actually copper. It was noisy, dirty and intimidating.
These days factories are quiet, calm and clean. Boring, repetitive tasks which once required dozens of people to keep the production lines running are now performed by robots. The skills needed to work in a manufacturing plant these days are far more sophisticated than they used to be. There may be fewer people but they’re almost certainly much more highly qualified than they would have been 30 years ago.
AWM claims manufacturing is not declining but “transforming” and that may be true. To some extent. But I still fail to see how we can survive as a nation if we end up not making anything at all. There are those who say we can do OK if we stick to such things as branding, marketing and distribution. Somehow, though, that just doesn’t sound like much of a strategy for prosperity and growth.
The other day I drove past the Longbridge car plant. It was once the biggest factory in the world with 24,000 employees. It’s a sad wasteland now. There are question marks over the future of Jaguar and Land Rover. And it comes to something when we’re grateful to the Chinese for employing 200 people at Longbridge to knock out a few MGs.
Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet
The average home runs a dozen electrical items continuously day and night.
See how many you have from the list below and how many could be turned off when not needed. Let me know if anything is missing from the list !
Plug in timers for lights etc.
Chargers for mobile phones or other batteries.
Transistor Radio/CD or Cassette player turned off with its own switch. X
Mains powered doorbell.
TV on standby.
PC in sleep mode, standby or shutdown. X
PC monitor in standby or switched off. X
Printer in standby or turned off by its own switch. X
Outside light with movement detector
Outside light with darkness detector
Video recorder. X
Microwave oven. X
Everyone knows about not leaving the TV on standby – its just a matter of remembering to turn it off, especially at bedtime. If you are getting a new doorbell, think about a battery powered one. The battery will last for ages unless you have a huge number of visitors! Could you use BT call answering instead of the answerphone? PC’s just allowed to go to sleep use the same as a 40 watt lamp but if put into standby instead, just a few watts. The PC comes out of standby in seconds leaving you exactly where you left off. (In Windows XP, use Start -Turn Off Computer – Standby to get standby and use a ← key to come out). Overnight, PC’s should be switched off at the wall socket because even when shutdown, they continue to draw a few watts.
All the items marked X also draw a few watts even when turned off with their own switch so turn them off at the wall if you can. Some video recorders loose their time and other settings if switched off at the wall so these may have to be left on. We turn off our motion detector outside light at bed time and put it on when we need it. This saves as much as not leaving the TV on standby.
Friends of ours found it only took them a few days to get into the switching off habit.
For more information about the Make Henley Greener project, click here.
District Council Information
Alerts from Trading Standards
And always remember - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service
Henley Diary Dates
Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the email@example.com at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to The Rector.
The Agency are holding a drop-in session on Friday 14th September in the Henley-in-Arden area between 12 and 8pm. Further information on rainfall and river levels and how they compare to past flooding will be available, as well as information on what happened. Members of the Environment Agency, and other organisations involved in the recent flooding, will be on hand to answer your questions.
SHAKESPEARE EXPRESS ROTARY OUTING
Sunday 2nd September - details from firstname.lastname@example.org
HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY meets on the third Thursday of the month, 8.00 p.m. at the Baptist Church Hall from September to April. Visitors and new members welcome. Further details from Maggie Twigg 793373.
Next meeting 20th September “The Back to Backs in Birmingham” by Derek Clarke followed by a visit to the Back to Backs on 3rd October.
POLICE and COMMUNITIES TOGETHER (PACT)
Public meeting, the Baptist Church Hall, 7.00 pm on Tuesday 2nd October 2007.
BARN DANCE ABD SUPPER
Saturday 20th October - Information from Marijana or Duncan Bainbridge 793539/794987.
HENLEY AND WOOTTON SCOUTS - BONFIRE NIGHT
Saturday 3rd November 2007 - Further details from John Johnson 792073.
HENLEY IN ARDEN TENNIS CLUB
Open to members (juniors and adults) of any standard. Full time coach. 7 courts open throughout the year mean that there is always a court available. No need to book. Club and American Tournaments held during summer months. League matches summer and winter. For details of membership please contact Judith Mathias 01564 792378
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN EVERGREEN CLUB
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15 p.m. The Club has around 80 members and organises a varied programme together with various outings. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gordon Trinder
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB
Arc you interested in gardening and flowers or just spending a pleasant evening watching a demonstrator arrange foliage and flowers? We meet on the second Tuesday each month at 7.30pm in The Memorial Hal, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden so why not come along and see for yourself. Visitors are always welcome £3.00. You do not have to be an active flower arranger to enjoy watching our demonstrators but if you do feel you would like to 'have a go' we hold occasional workshops. For further information, Contact Secretary - Annette Walker - 01564 792837
HENLEY IN ARDEN BADMINTON CLUB
Meets Friday and Sunday from September to May in the Memorial Hall. Details contact Alan Barber on 793320. Thursday evenings from 7.30 –9.30 pm at Henley Community Primary School. Details please ring Pauline Barber on 793320.
HENLEY CRICKET CLUB
Henley Cricket Club fields two teams in the Cotswold Hills League on a Saturday, and two teams in friendly fixtures on Sundays, from mid-April to mid-September. We are always on the lookout for new players, irrespective of age or ability. Anyone interested in joining our club should contact Kevin O'Brien on 01564-794903.
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BOWLS CLUB
meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A34 just outside Henley. The Club welcome new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Co-ordinators. If you are aware that you are not covered in your area or are willing to be a co-ordinator. Please contact Annette Walker on 792837
THE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB
Holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on third Thursday of each month from 11.30am to 2.15pm at the Henley Golf Club. There is a one hour networking session followed by a quality lunch and a informative speaker on a business topic.
THE ROTARY CLUB of HENLEY-in-ARDEN
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email email@example.com
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BRIDGE CLUB
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually find time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!. Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.
For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.
Please tell all your friends about The Henley Diary. Events for future Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close marked ‘Henley Diary’ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From our own Correspondents
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